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Prosecutors oppose new trial for ex-Mass. speaker


Prosecutors oppose new trial for ex-Mass. speaker

Prosecutors say the corruption conviction of Salvatore DiMasi should stand, citing what they call “the overwhelming weight” of evidence against the former Massachusetts House speaker.

The government on Friday filed a 57-page rebuttal to a defense motion asking U.S. District Judge Mark Wolf to order an acquittal or a new trial for DiMasi. DiMasi was found guilty by a jury last month on charges he used his clout as speaker to steer two lucrative state contracts to a software firm in exchange for payments.

Prosecutors rejected DiMasi’s claim of insufficient evidence and suggested that the defense did not fully understand what was required for a conviction on honest services fraud charges.

The government also filed its opposition to a new trial for co-defendant Richard McDonough, a Statehouse lobbyist.

Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 8.

Boston pharmacist pleads guilty to fraud

A Boston pharmacist has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud Medicaid of more than $204,000 by submitting false claims to the federally funded program.

Ernest McGee pleaded guilty last week in U.S. District Court in Boston.

Prosecutors say the 40-year-old McGee, an assistant pharmacist at Codman Square Pharmacy in Dorchester, worked with pharmacy owner Amadiegwu Onujiogu in the scheme. They allegedly paid customers to bring physician-signed prescriptions to the pharmacy and charged Medicaid for those prescriptions, but did not dispense the medications to the customers.

Prosecutors say the two solicited and paid cash for prescriptions from particularly downtrodden customers such as the homeless, AIDS patients, and drug addicts.

Onujiogu pleaded guilty last month and was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison. McGee is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 25.

Study finds aging Mass. workforce

The state’s workforce is getting older.

A recently-released report predicts that by 2020 nearly 27 percent of workers in Massachusetts will be 55 years of age or older. By 2030, about one-third of the state’s entire population is expected to be that of age.

The study was done by the Commonwealth Corp., a semi-independent agency with the state Office of Labor and Workforce Development, and researchers at Drexel University.

The report found that in certain sectors of the Massachusetts economy, older residents already comprise a significant share of the workforce. For example, nearly one in four people working in the Educational and Health Services sector last year were 55 or older.

The state says it developing strategies to support and retain older workers.